Labor has called on the Abbott Government to ensure compliance with the Family Day Care system without resorting to ill-considered measures which may punish legitimate and honest educators and services.
While the Government must act to ensure public money is not misused, it is clear the changes announced yesterday could have serious negative consequences for many completely innocent Family Day Care educators, the vast majority of whom are doing the right thing.
“Banning educators from being able to place their own children in any Family Day Care service seems a blunt and harsh decision which could increase waiting lists or even drive educators from the sector,” Shadow Early Childhood Minister, Kate Ellis, said.
“Surely the Government could use the $157 million they have already ripped from the Family Day Care system to implement appropriate safeguards against rorters, without punishing every educator with children.”
Unfortunately, this is just another example of this Government acting without consultation. Just as they did when they made $157 million in Family Day Care cuts in the Budget, which will push up fees and cause services to close.
“It has become a pattern for the Abbott Government to simply make cuts and changes to Family Day Care without any consultation,” Kate Ellis said.
“Despite promising to make child care more affordable before the election, Tony Abbott has announced over $1 billion in child care cuts.”
Family Day Care Australia estimates the Abbott Government’s cuts will increase the cost of care by $35 per child per week.
Strong measures must be put in place to address misuse of tax payer funds. That's why, in Government, Labor acted on this issue by establishing targeted education and compliance programs across the country.
“As soon as allegations came to light back in 2012, I directed the Department to undertake a full compliance campaign, audit the sector, contact every service and use the full force of the law if any cases of fraud emerged,” Kate Ellis said.
“Labor supports tough action against rorting and believes every effort should be made to prevent the misuse of tax payer funds, but that must be done by targeting those who do the wrong thing, not by punishing hard working educators and their families.”
FRIDAY, 5 DECEMBER 2014